Serena Williams' nearly year-long quest to win her 22nd Grand Slam continues at Wimbledon 2016. The world’s No. 1-ranked women’s tennis player is favored to win in London and tie Steffi Graf’s Open Era record, though she's not thinking about her place in history.
"We don't talk about it all. Zero," Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams’ coach, said on Tuesday.
"Because there is nothing to talk about. We have a Grand Slam (title) to win, and that's what's most important. We don't talk about the reward," he said. "We talk about the work we have to do."
William’s last Grand Slam title came at last year's Wimbledon, where she lost just two total sets on her way to a sixth championship in London. She failed to win every major tournament of last year when she was upset in the U.S. Open semifinals by Roberta Vinci.
Since 2007, Williams has at least one Grand Slam title in every year except 2011, when she only participated in two major tournaments. She’s already been defeated in the finals of the Australian Open and French Open this year.
Williams is one step closer to winning No. 22, having defeated Amra Saikovic. But the match was closer than many expected with Williams advancing 6-2, 6-4. Sadikovic entered the match as the No. 148 player in the world, and had one of the all-time greats looking vulnerable.
Williams, though, claims she isn’t concerned with her performance.
“I felt I was where I needed to be,” Williams said. “I needed to be pumped for the match. I needed to be intense. I needed to show a lot and feel a lot on the court. That's typically how I play. I needed to do that.
“I never underestimate anyone. I don’t think it was tougher than I thought. It was definitely tough. She plays an old‑school grass court game. I knew that going in. So when you're prepared, it's always a lot easier than not knowing. It was a good start for me. I felt like it was a solid start to go in the right direction.”
Williams got off to a similarly rocky start in 2015. She defeated No. 113 Margarita Gasparyan 6-4 6-1, but only after falling behind 3-1 in the first set. Williams ended up defeating four of the sport’s top 23 players en route to a championship.
Up next for Williams is Christina McHale, who is ranked No. 65 in the world. Having participated in every Grand Slam tournament since 2011, McHale has never advanced beyond the third round, getting past the second round just once since 2013.
Williams and McHale have already met twice in 2016. McHale was defeated by Williams in the third round of May’s Italian Open, but she gave the world's No.1 her biggest test of the tournament, holding a 5-3 lead in the first set. In March, Williams needed three sets to defeat McHale in Miami.